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A Skylark Sings

above the moor
not attached to anything
a skylark sings   /basho

on a greening trail
the pale sun coats branches   / paresh

eyes unblinking
I wait for her window curtains
to open   /raamesh

now that he’s gone
she orders his favourite meal   /bhavani

from a cellar
the scent of hops spreads
to the warm patio   /angelee

the halo around
a vandalised Buddha   / geethanjali

the circus lion’s yawn
much bigger than
its roar . . .   / sanjuktaa

ready for the weary
a dry bed of leaves   / brijesh

on the road
parijat blossoms
mirror the night sky   / raamesh

chowkidar’s torch
flashes in the cemetery   / angelee

jostling at the mall
to grab
last season’s stilettos   / lakshmi

the horizon balances
a winter moon   / kala


A spring junicho by the members of IN haiku at Haiku Utsav 2013 composed at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune, February 23rd, 2013

Joint sabaki – Rohini Gupta (Mumbai) and Kala Ramesh (Pune)

The participants:
Matsuo Basho. Tr. by Makoto Ueda
Paresh Tiwari, Hyderabad – v 2
Raamesh Gowri Raghavan, Mumbai – vs 3 & 9
Bhavani Ramesh, Mumbai – v 4
Angelee Deodhar, Chandigarh – vs 5 & 10
Geethanjali Rajan, Chennai – v 6
Sanjuktaa Asopa, Belgaum – v 7
Brijesh Raj, Mumbai – v 8
Lakshmi Mani, Pune – v 11
Kala Ramesh, Pune – v 12


My first renku was under the moon and a cascade of bougainvillea. This one was in an air conditioned conference room, with every verse projected on the screen, but the enthusiasm was just the same.
Most were newcomers and the silence as they frowned over their scribbling was deafening, but they came up with interesting verses. Afterwards they told me they loved the friendly, cooperative atmosphere and we got a good poem from it too. At least for me, the skylark was singing loud and clear.

Rohini Gupta


I have been the sabaki of several renku trips but this will always have a special place in my heart for one reason: to lead a ‘live’ renku is a challenge and it becomes even more a daunting task when most are new to this art form. We did finish it in a record time of four hours or probably less. This junicho set the stage for a grand finale to our haiku utsav.

Kala Ramesh


Paresh Tiwari: My first renga trip was exhilarating. The rush of ten minds working together, walking together, each one taking you to a turn you couldn't possibly think existed (but of-course ... it was just round the corner, all you needed was a nudge, to see it) was the most beautiful part of it. Here's hoping to be a part of many such adventures. And yes, how can I not mention the gentle yet firm guidance of the two fabulous Sabaki....Cheers for the long road ahead of us.

Geethanjali Rajan: My first experience with live renga (or any renga!) was wonderful, though challenging- a learning experience and enjoyable! It brought out the creativity in the group amidst structure, and the collaboration was the best part - each person complementing the other amidst the competition. Thank you, sabaki and thank you, my fellow haijin.

Angelee Deodhar: At the Pune haiku utsav, for me, this was a rare experience of writing a collaborative poem. With excellent input and gentle encouragement from the two sabaki, I could connect to the other people writing, and also understood when to use which moon, autumn flower etc, in a junicho. Thank you.

Bhavani Ramesh: It was a lovely experience to come together to create something, when writing is usually an individual activity. It makes you sit-up notice different styles, learn how to workshop and better a verse. The final outcome is interesting given the many styles that get interwoven into one piece.

Raamesh Gowri Raghavan: This renga trip was like a marijuana trip: a window into a vivid and serene world not otherwise open to urban lives.

Sanjukta Asopa: As I had never participated in a renga before, it was a challenge as well as a learning experience for me. The rules were tough, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. The best part was how between you two, (Kala Ramesh and Rohini Gupta), you explained something I had been trying to understand in vain for some time beautifully! Thanks to all the participants! Hope we will write many more renga together.

(Published in A Hundred Gourds)


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